Move More Aberdeen Hits 100!

move more aberdeen

Move More Aberdeen hit the significant milestone of 100 referrals this September, roughly 9-months after the doors opened to people affected by cancer.  There has been fantastic support locally from NHS health professionals, patient groups, CLAN Cancer Support and Maggies support centres and others. Approximately 70% of these 100 referrals came from health professionals and 30% from self-referrals.

Those who have attended Move More Aberdeen activity groups have gained real benefits such as improved fitness, a speedier return to work, greater confidence and an improved ability to cope with the side-effects of treatment, (both physical and emotional), and people affected by cancer continuing with long-term independent physical activity.

Move More Aberdeen is still in its infancy, and these referrals represent the first shoots of growth for the programme – plenty of feeding, nurturing and pruning needs to be done! (Yes, a garden group as part of the Move More Aberdeen programme will be starting soon!) With continued hard work and support from health care professionals and other partners we hope that Move More Aberdeen will become well rooted and established, growing in strength and capacity to help more people affected by cancer to ‘Get Active and Feel Good’.

Move More Glasgow visit

At the end of March members of the Macmillan Physical Activity team visited the Move More project in Scotland. Physical Activity Integration Manager Sarah Worbey, Physical Activity Manager for Sporting Opportunities Rhian Horlock and Northern Ireland Physical Activity Manager Diarmaid McAuley met up with Project Manager, Margaret Greer.

Move More Scotland is a Macmillan initiative designed to help people living with cancer in Scotland to remain active, both throughout their treatment and afterwards. There are four activities to choose from, all designed specifically for people affected by cancer, led or supported by volunteers. There has been huge support for the Move More Scotland programme from external organisations. Working in partnership with local authorities and leisure trusts has allowed Move More Scotland to be delivered within local community venues, sports centres and libraries. Classes and groups are free, accessible and welcoming to all – some can even be attended by carers, family or friends.

We went to see the four physical actvity opportunities on offer startng with the impressive new Macmillan allotment schemes in Bellahouston and Gartnavel. The gardens are run by volunteers who are involved in planning, sowing seeds, planting, growing and generally caring for the gardens. They also offer a cuppa and a listening ear for participants who are affected by cancer, encouraging them to get moving and signposting to other services.The walled garden and grass caterpillars were a delight to see and we were impressed with the accessible layout of the gardens which provide an area of escape, peace and tranquillity. A fundraising team corporate offer resulted in Boots managers getting involved in shaping the Victorian gardens at Provan Hall, weeding, planting the sensory herb wheel, cleaning and painting benches, all tasks identified and managed under the guidance of our lead volunteer Ian.

Next stop was a circuit class in action in the local community. These are delivered by fitness instructors with specialist training in level 4 cancer and rehabilitation. We spoke to the participant at the session who had been involved since December and was thoroughly impressed with the support from the instructor and would like to see more participants attending.

We continued our journey with a stroll around Victoria Park and set off from Whiteinch Library which also hosts a Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service. It was great to see family and carers attending the Paths for All group as well as new volunteer trained leaders. The walk was low intensity, short and sociable.

Our final destination included observing a gentle movement class at Parkhead library which was at full capacity. Gentle movement classes aligns breath and physical activity with mental and spiritual awareness. It can be practised seated, so is open to people of all ages and abilities.

With circuit classes, gentle movement, gardening and walking groups, the Move More team help participants choose an activity that’s right for them. More information about Move More Glasgow can be found here

Sedentary behaviour: what’s the problem?

Sedentary behaviour of manOver the years the world of work has changed to represent cognitive employment in favor of careers requiring physical labor. Many of us spend a large proportion of our work day sitting down. We then travel home, sitting down or socialise (TV, theatre, drinks, dinner etc.) sitting down. Extended periods of sitting have become the norm.

So? What’s so bad about it?

According to Get Britain Standing, (a campaign aiming to raise awareness and educate against the dangers of sedentary working), when you sit the enzymes that help to break down fat (lipoprotein lipase) drop by 90% and sitting for an excess of 4 hours at work increases your risk of heart disease by 100%. Other health risks include a reduced metabolic rate, disrupted blood sugar levels, reduce insulin levels, increased hypertension (blood pressure) and decreased leg muscles use. More specifically sedentary behavior has been linked to an increased risk of heart/cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, muscle degeneration, back ache/neck pain, osteoporosis, depression* and dementia*

*Denotes suggestion of indirect association not a definitive relationship.

Don’t underestimate how important being active during your day really is. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated a lack of physical activity as one of the top four leading causes of preventable death worldwide, ahead of high cholesterol, alcohol and drug abuse.

This doesn’t apply to me does it?

For those of you reading this and thinking ‘I reach &/or exceed the recommended daily/weekly exercise/activity guidelines’ that’s great and you should continue to do so. However, research has suggested that remaining seated for too long is bad for your health, regardless of how much exercise you do outside of your time spent sitting down. For example if you walk or go to the gym for 30-45 minutes but remain seated the rest of the day your lifestyle would still be described as sedentary. The associated health risks of being sedentary are not exclusive to those who appear to be overweight or obese. A slim person who is very inactive also has a higher risk of the previously mentioned conditions.

“All-day movement is now seen as being just as important for the maintenance of good health as traditional exercise.” Professor Stuart Biddle (A leading Professor of Active Living & Public Health)

Thankfully there are numerous solutions available to us to reduce our sedentary behaviours. We have always been advocates of moving more so look out for our next post which will cover a comprehensive list of simple changes anyone can make to decrease time spent sitting down each day.

Getting Glasgow City Council Staff to Move More

MM glasgow eventA few weeks ago the Move More Glasgow team joined the Glasgow City Council Health Roadshows to tell staff from Glasgow City Council about the physical activity programmes available in their area. As well as having an information stand to tell people about the Move More Glasgow programme (which offers anyone affected by cancer a menu of opportunities to become more active), a health walk was on offer around the streets of Glasgow and one of the Level 4 cancer rehab instructors led a few 15 minute taster sessions.

The staff could gather information about the services for personal use but also to pass onto family, friends, colleagues and clients. In addition to information about Move More there were also representatives from the Macmillan@Glasgow Libraries Information and Support services, Healthy Work Lives and staff could take part in other activities including getting a hand massage and having their cholesterol checked.

Overall this was a great way of telling the staff at Glasgow City Council what is available to them and their clients in Glasgow. By putting on this event it gave council members and influential others a demonstration of the fantastic programme. Events like this can gather support, volunteers and potentially funding opportunities so if it sounds like something your project could benefit from why not plan one?

The team will be joining the health roadshow on their next stop around Glasgow in a few weeks and we look forward to hearing more about how they raise the profile of the Move More Glasgow programme.

Move More

Top tips to help you move more in 2015

2015It’s that time where the mince pies and joyous feasting of yesteryear (2014 was weeks ago!) might be playing on our minds (or our waistbands). With determination and self control to rival Tibetan monks many of us decide to embark on one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions worldwide: be more active and/or eat well.

Whether you’re doing it for improved overall health, to tone up, or to lose weight you aren’t alone and it’s no easy feat. To help make sure your resolutions don’t fall by the wayside we’ve listed some failsafe tips below.

1) BE REALISTIC.

– Its unlikely you’ll lose 10 pounds, completely cut out sugar, run a marathon and master a new sport alongside your current day to day life in two months. Get real about your goals – no fad diets or gruelling daily workouts when you previously avoided exercise like the plague. Instead become a healthier you by eating healthily and being physically active at a level that suits you.

2) DEFINE YOUR GOALS.

– To really achieve your goals they need to be specific. Know what you want and focus on the positive. Also break down your goals into manageable chunks. By being specific it’s easier to review how well you’re progressing with your goal.

3) TALK ABOUT IT.

– Once you’ve decided on your goals, tell people about it! It’s easy to break promises that only you know about, so by sharing your resolutions with friends, family or colleagues you are more likely to stick to them. You can then get people around you to remind you on a regular basis why you want to achieve your goal and what you need to do to get there and lean on them for motivation.

4) REWARD YOURSELF.

– We know goals are rarely achieved in one go, so break them down into smaller milestones and reward yourself along the way (not with a takeaway, mind.) Celebrate your success with treats that don’t contradict your resolutions but contribute to them. E.g. A pricier cut of meat for dinner, a new item of sportswear or booking a massage. Treat yourself healthy!

5) HAVE FUN!

– This is the most important tip, ENJOY YOURSELF. You’ll never stick to a healthy eating plan or get physically active if it’s boring or unrealistically difficult. Rather than just eating lettuce, healthy eating can be tasty and filling if you take the time to find meals you like. And if you hated running all your life, don’t do it! Maybe you love swimming, football or Zumba instead.

Finally don’t beat yourself up if you have a slip up, mistakes do happen and rather than drag yourself down, just look to the following day to start afresh.

Good luck